Re: The rules of encoding (from Re: Missing geometric shapes)

From: William_J_G Overington <>
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2012 09:26:56 +0000 (GMT)

On Thursday 8 November 2012, Philippe Verdy <> wrote:
> 2012/11/8 William_J_G Overington> <>:
> > However, an encoding using a Private Use Area encoding has great problems in being implemented as a widespread system.

> Wrong, this is what has been made during centuries if not millenium !
Well, the point that I am trying to make is that a new glyph that is used in an electronic communication system that uses the ISO/IEC 10646 character encoding system with the new glyph being encoded using a Private Use Area code point does, of necessity, have a code point associated with the glyph. In a handwritten or printed document, communication uses the glyph alone, so there is not the same problem existing.
> This is still true today: even if you define new glyphs, and as long as you do not explicitly give permission to others to reused those glyphs or variant of them, these glyphs remain private in terms of copyright restrictions on their designs.
Yes, you are right. I do hope that that is not going to be a problem over people trying out the glyphs that I have devised. I need to think about that. Feedback from readers on this issue is invited please.
> Making your publication "public" by depositing to a national library is not a situation where you grant an open licence to others : the legal deposit made at a national library is instead used as a proof of your date of work to claim your copyright on this work.
Well, in the United Kingdom, copyright in a work exists from when the work is put into permanent form.
The reason that I use the voluntary deposit facility of the British Library is so that there is a permanent archived record of what I produce for as long as the British Library exists.
As I understand it, the deposit at the British Library is because the work has been published, or is on the point of being published and actually becomes published: the depositing at the British Library is not the publishing action.
> > Also, I feel that implementation other than for research purposes using a Private Use Area encoding would cause problems for the future: I feel that a formal encoding is needed from the start.
> Certainly no. For widespread use you first need to create a work, claim ownership of copyrights, makde a legal deposit to proove it, publish an explicit open licence statement allowing reuse of your design by other authors, and then make your own work for convincing others to reuse these glyphs (or derived variants of them) in a way similar as yours.
If one coins a new word into the English language (for example, I coined the word telesoftware in 1974 for my then new broadcasting invention), the word will only become included in the Oxford English Dictionary if it is used to an assessed extent by people other than the coiner. That is fine, because the word stands on its own and the spelling of the word that is put into the dictionary is the same spelling as the word that is in use.
However, with a new symbol that is used by glyph and Private Use Area encoding in interoperable situations, such as email exchanges, or searchable documents and so on, if the character is encoded into Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646 then the glyph is encoded yet the code point is changed. There are then issues of legacy data.
> It is when there will be similar reuses by others, in their own publications, and when people will start communicating with them in a sizeable community, on a long enough period (more than the year of your initial publication), that the appearing "abstract" character will be saif existant (Unicode or ISO won't consider these characters as long as others than you alone are not using these designs legally in their published interchanges, printed or not, have not been proven to exist over a period consisting in more than 1 year by much more than just 1 independant author).
Well, whether Unicode and ISO accept the characters for encoding is a decision that they can make. However, in relation to considering them for acceptance, I feel that it would be fair and reasonable for there to be a facility that allows me the opportunity to place a document before the committees making the case for encoding without there being widespread existing usage using a Private Use Area encoding, with the decision as to whether to accept the encoding being made after reading the document and after discussion.
> > I feel that the rules for encoding such new symbols are out of date and not suitable for present day use.
> > Unfortunately, it seems that there is not a way available for me to request formal consideration of the possibility of changing the rules.
> > Technology has changed since the rules were made.
> May be, but this just extended the number of technical medias useable for publications (even if copyright issues have been restricting a bit the legal reuses more tightly). There are still lots of documents produced on various medias (at least all the same since milleniums). Electronic documents are just newer medias for publications, but they certainly don't create a new restriction to permit widespread use.
The problem arises when one tries to communicate using plain text systems, such as ordinary email.
William Overington
10 November 2012
Received on Sat Nov 10 2012 - 03:32:07 CST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Sat Nov 10 2012 - 03:32:08 CST